Nine Stones wines are produced by the Evans Wine Co., initiated by the Australian wine writer Len Evans, who died in 2006 at age 76. While a true believer in the quality of Australian wines, Evans was more attuned than most Australians to the European notion of micro-climate and place. Nine Stones Shiraz comes in three cuvees, each with a unique personality representing its place of origin.
Barossa, with a climate comparable to that of Portugal, is known for its bold, flamboyant big-shouldered wines. And this wine is Barossa at its best--deep, bluish purple in color with a "wow" nose of blackberries, coffee and oak. Even though it's thick and rich, in true Barossa tradition, the wine has flavors and smells that are clean, well focused and delineated. No stewed fruit here, as you may find in some Barossa Shiraz. Very ripe at the front with a firm, tannic middle and then a long, fruit-centered finish. Plums and black- and blue berries. If you're a fan of Australian Shiraz, you won't be able to get enough of this wine.
Considering today's prices, Nine Stones Shiraz is a decent value at $13.99 (the price I paid at D&W in southwest Michigan). If you can find it for $10 or less, buy, buy, buy.